CEO of TikTok claims that firm checks users' ages by looking at public videos.

By: Admin Technology and Science incentive
Mar 24 , 2023 - 2 months ago

CEO of TikTok claims that firm checks users' ages by looking at public videos.

At today's Congressional hearing, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew provided some information regarding how the firm screens possible minors who use its platform when being questioned about the company's usage of biometrics. The executive was questioned on how TikTok estimates the age of its users after denying that the app gathers body, face, or voice data to identify its users.

Chew's immediate response, "The software utilizes age gating," was anticipated. This is a reference to the widely used technique that only requests a user's birthday in order to calculate their age. The user's experience in TikTok is determined by the age they enter. There are three distinct experiences available: ones for users under 13, younger adolescents, and adults 18+.

Nevertheless, relying only on this approach presents challenges because children sometimes inflate their ages when registering for social networking websites and applications. It turns out that TikTok does more than examine the age given in a text box. TikTok examines user videos to establish their age, Chew said throughout the hearing.


For instance, Instagram recently started confirming users' ages by giving them a choice between three possibilities. Users had three options for age verification: submit an ID, take a video selfie, or ask friends who knew each other well. If you have trustworthy pals who will tell lies on your behalf, the latter is rather simple to get around.


Instagram launched its age verification tools earlier this month in Canada and Mexico in addition to the U.S., Brazil, and Japan where they already had support. The business has previously announced a partnership with London-based digital identification firm Yoti for the age verification procedure video selfie component. Moreover, Instagram has already provided a high-level explanation of how it determines which users it believes to be minors.


The business asserts that it created AI technology that it uses to deduce someone's age in addition to looking into flagged accounts. This approach comprehends how people in the same age range typically engage with the material. By reading the comments on "Happy Birthday" postings, where a person's age may be mentioned, it may also spot an underage user who is lying about their age. However, Instagram claimed it may utilize "many additional indications" that it doesn't reveal in addition to trying to match a user's age on Facebook with their reported age on the platform.